The Ponoka Hospital and Care Centre. (File photo)

The Ponoka Hospital and Care Centre. (File photo)

Ponoka hospital emergency department closing during the day on Friday, July 21

Closure due to gap in physician coverage

The Ponoka Hospital and Care Centre’s Emergency Department (ED) will once again close to patients temporarily due to physician shortage.

The ED will be without physician coverage from 8 a.m. until 5 p.m. on Friday, July 21. As a result of this coverage gap, the ED will be closed beginning at 7 a.m.

Any patients within the department will be seen and treated. New patients presenting to the ED after that time will be assessed by nursing staff and referred to other emergency departments in surrounding communities depending on their condition.

EMS will transport patients to other facilities if necessary, including the Lacombe Hospital and Care Centre (35 kms away), Wetaskiwin Hospital and Care Centre (40 kms away), and Red Deer Regional Hospital Centre (56 kms away).

EMS crews returning from 911 calls with patients requiring hospital care will re-route to alternative facilities as well.

Patients with non-urgent conditions will be redirected to other available care options as appropriate to their needs.These options include calling Health Link at 811 for medical information and advice, returning to the ED when it reopens later in the day if necessary, or following up with a primary care provider.

All other services at the Ponoka Hospital and Care Centre will continue to operate as normal during this temporary ED closure.